August 5, 2004
Marblehead: Striped Bass remain picky around Marblehead, with most fish now being caught at dawn or after dark, or in deeper water. Small bluefish have been plentiful off Devereux Beach as along most of the beaches. There are bluefish all around the Neck and boat anglers fishing live bait in the deeper waters have done well in pursuit of stripers.
Salem: Bluefish action remains steady off Salem with fish being landed at the usual spots, including Salem Willows Pier, Winter Island and the bridges. Stripers are being landed, but not at the pace we had earlier in the season. Fly fishing has been somewhat slow, but some long wanders are still landing fish by letting the fly sink for a solid “10 count” prior to beginning their retrieve.
Beverly: Persistent anglers in search of flounder off Beverly have caught their limit, but have had to exercise patience. Boat anglers drifting and dragging their worm across the bottom have faired better than their shore bound brethren. Anglers fishing for striped bass from shore have found fish, but like many North Shore locations, dusk to dawn is the best time to get out. Bluefish continue to patrol the waters.
Cape Ann: Fishing the Manchester shoreline has produced good bass and bluefish action, with boat anglers tallying more fish than those who are shore bound. Larger bluefish have been present this week off Halibut Point and Magnolia. Boat anglers fishing the rocks around Gloucester have reported fairly steady action for schoolie sized bass, with a few keeper sized bass mixed in. Fly anglers utilizing sinking lines and large profile bait fish imitations have done well as have spin anglers using large sluggos. Fishing in the Essex River remains somewhat spotty, with bluefish catches outnumbering striped bass. Party boats continue to land good numbers of Cod and Haddock and anglers in search of tuna have seen and even landed a few fish around Jeffries and Stellwagan banks.
Ipswich: Bluefish continue to patrol the waters around Ipswich with many fish being landed in and at the mouth of the Ipswich River. Anglers fishing Crane and Steep Hill beach have found some striped bass activity during the low light hours, with fish taking sluggos, popping plugs, needle fish and bait. Fly anglers have done well with deceivers, clousers and sand eel imitations on fast sinking lines.
Newbury: I was at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island last night, and while the order of business was collecting shells with my five-year old daughter and not fishing, I could not help but notice the fishy looking water, and for good reason. Stripers and blues have been landed over the last week from Parking lots 1, 6 and 7 on the refuge, and while the greenheads are still there, they are dying off. Cut bait and worms have both been working well for striped bass, while anglers using plugs, swimming lures and metals have all reported good fun with bluefish. The Parker River and Plum Island Sound remain full of bluefish with some spotty striper fishing reported.
Newburyport / Plum Island: Bluefish are still abundant around Newburyport, and we had several pods of 8 – 12 pound blues around and in the boat this past weekend. From the mouth of the Merrimack all the way down to Sandy Point your likely to run into many pods of bluefish willing to take most any offering. Shore anglers fishing the Plum Island Beach front have also had luck with blues. Striped bass fishing has been decent, but has slowed down compared to last week. Fishing at Plum Island Point continued to draw crowds of anglers, with many fishing sea worms and cut bait, or working sluggos in the fast moving current. Joppa Flats remains home to some finicky bass, which sometimes are quite evident, but unwilling to take any fly, lure or bait thrown at them. However, anglers using live eels have had some success at night. Upriver spots have continued to yield bass to anglers willing to hunt for them. Tuna rumors have turned into confirmations, with anglers finding these “footballs” offshore and willing to take both trolled and cast offerings. Party boats have continued to please anglers looking to fill the freezer with cod and haddock.
Salisbury: Fishing the Salisbury ocean front will certainly afford you more solitude than the riverfront of the State Reservation, but the fish seem more plentiful in the river. Fishermen setting up on the Salisbury side of the Merrimack have been landing both striped bass and bluefish using both bait and lures. Cut bait (herring) and sea worms on fish finder rigs are the preference of bait fishermen, while anglers fishing with metal and plug lures have done well. Bluefish are closer to the mouth, so anglers willing to fish the jetty have done well.
Seacoast, NH: Fishing off Seabrook, Rye and Hampton has been decent for bluefish but fairly slow for striped bass. There are some reports of bass being caught off Rye, mostly on eels and cut herring. Further up the coast, anglers fishing the Piscataqua River have reported schoolie action at times and bluefish at the mouth. Reports had the area around the Isle of Shoals slower than last week for both bass and blues.